Di Zhou (A12093846)
May 24th 2015
Process Description Paper
For our final project, my group has decided to go with the 3rd situation. The year in future is 2065; scientists on Earth discover that there is extraterrestrial life that exists in universe. The detectors have received radio waves from another advanced civilizations and every citizen on Earth can tune in to listen. On the other hand, since we intercept their radio waves, aliens are not yet aware of us. Once the scientists published their findings about aliens, the whole world reacts vigorously to the issue. Government, citizens and media all have different attitudes towards this astounding news. Therefore, in our project, we decide to use a scrapbook to include newspaper clippings to present our future world. Because this issue is worldwide, we will write in different languages too. In the future world, we also find that the government has concealed the fact that they have already contacted aliens in 1950s. We chose to present all these findings in the form of stories fragmented in newspaper clippings, because these stories can directly tell readers how the world reacts to the discovery of extraterrestrial life from different perspectives and what the fu-ture world will be like.
The reason why I choose the 3rd situation is that I always believe that aliens exist and sci-entist will discover them soon, with the help developing technology. We determine the existence of extraterrestrial life by receiving the radio waves emitting from that planet. In our project, the year is 2065, when the technology has developed rapidly. Scientists have made advanced robots to help them complete their work. These robots will no longer simply rely on existed codes; in-stead they will be more intelligent to solve certain problems that are not programmed. These ad-vanced robots will help scientists to perform complex experiments in an easy manner. They will be more like assistants, rather than tools. With their help, scientists will not need to solve unnec-essary problems during the process and they can achieve goals much faster than be-fore. Meanwhile, the search for extraterrestrial life never stops. There are more countries build-ing cutting edge telescopes like the Kepler Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Tele-scope, giving citizens and scientist new comprehension of the universe. With the immense help of technology, scientists also invent a device, which can receive different signals in the universe. When the device is firstly put into use, it cannot detect any strange signal or radio wave from the universe, but one day, this device helps scientists find an unfamiliar form of wave, which shows a certain pattern; after analyzing the wave, scientists determine that it represents a form of aliens' communication. The question of whether we are alone finally has been solved. Once scientists have published the news that there are intelligent life forms on another planet, it attracts attention from all over the world. The reaction towards the extraterrestrial life ranges from excited to nervous, from convinced to skeptical, and from inclusive to insusceptible. Pope, celebrities, sci-ence fiction writers, and people from different fields have stated their opinion about this piece of news. Later on, some bloggers find out that government has concealed the discovery of extrater-restrial life since 1950s.
Ashley and I are journalisms and Alex is the president of future world. Therefore, Ashley and I need to create stories and headlines from different perspectives, in order to present socie-ty's reaction and reasons resulting the variance in attitude. I focus on writing the articles from religion, celebrity, Chinese and bloggers aspects. Ashley also writes some articles related to pope, science fiction writers, interviews and so on. Alec creates few old government documents, which reveal the conspiracy of concealing the information about aliens. We put all the newspa-per articles we wrote in a scrapbook, so that viewers can flip through and know how the world's reaction.
The first story I wrote is "Role of Beliefs in Shaping Public Perception". I was inspired by the article "American Attitude about Life Beyond Earth", when writing the fictional story. In that article, George Pettinico expresses his idea that most of religious people reject the possibili-ties of extraterrestrial life, because they believe that only intelligent creatures God created are animals, angels, and man. Pettinico acclaims that, "For many conservative Christians, the uni-verse, despite its size and scope, exist for the benefit of humanity alone." By saying that, he shows most Christian's belief that although Earth is not at the center of universe physically, it is the single spot of God's focus. Before writing the story, I considered that America is a deeply religious country, so the religion can have crucial impact on the attitudes towards the news that there is life on another planet. According to George Pettinico's opinion, the more religious one is, the less likely he will believe the existence of extraterrestrial life. Therefore, my story is main-ly based on an interview conducted to a group of Christians in Church. When reporter interviews Christians, most of them still cannot believe the fact that extraterrestrial life exist. Their belief in God make them hold the traditional views that God only creates human beings and Earth is the unique chosen place for them. Yet not all of them reject the existence of aliens, so I decided to create a table, which can reflect how people who believe in Christianity and people who do not believe in Christianity view this piece of news. As the table shows, 38 percent of Christians in that Church believes in life beyond Earth, 53 percent of devout Christians rejects the findings of life beyond Earth, and 9 percent of Christians are not sure. This article can conclude the Chris-tian group's reaction about the discovery of extraterrestrial life.
After reading Nick Bostrum's article "where are they? Why I hope the search of extrater-restrial life finds nothing", I decided to write the second article, "Is it the final day?". Bostrum believes that the Galaxy cannot be perturbed or colonized by an intelligent life; it is highly possi-ble that there is some type of filter that prevents life forms from becoming so advanced that can control the universe. If none of the billions of planets have contacted Earth, there must be some-thing that prevents them from developing high technologies for interstellar communication. The Great Filter is something that causes the disruption of advanced civilizations. Bostrum writes, "The Great Filter, then would have to be something more dramatic than run-of-the mill societal collapse: it would have to be a terminal global cataclysm, an existential catastrophe. An existen-tial risk is one that threatens to annihilate the intelligent life or permanently and drastically cur-tail its potential for future development." In the future world we present, scientists have found the existence of extraterrestrial life and their civilization may be more advanced than us; howev-er, they have not contacted human beings. Therefore, it is very likely that the Great Filter has brought huge social or ecological collapses to them and let them spend more time to recover. In my article, I describe the scene when people are disputing whether the Great Filter is waiting for us in the future. Many pessimists believe that the discovery of aliens marks the coming of the Great Filter. They think Earth will encounter horrible disasters soon.
In my third story, my narrative becomes blogger. The article "Stephen Hawking's Proph-ecies to Come True in 300 Years" inspire me to write my story. It discusses the fate of humanity in a world that is largely occupied by aliens. There are a number of possibilities that have been put together in a study carried out by Stephen Hawking with regards to the existence of aliens. Hawking says, "The first possibility is that mankind is most likely to be forced out of the plan-et. " The reason that causes this possibility is the war between aliens and human beings. Accord-ing to what Hawking acclaims, I propose my three possibilities of contacting aliens. The first one is that they are evil, brutal, and aggressive, which means they will try to conquer Earth once they know the existence of Earth, bringing chaos to us. The second possibility is that they are so care-ful and treat people from Earth as a threat and they will do something to us to test our purpose. We don't know what the test will be, but their small test may cause huge disasters on Earth. The last possibility is the most optimistic one, which assumes that aliens are nice and helpful, so they want to introduce advanced technology to us and help developing Earth. Human beings are un-certain which situation they will encounter when contacting aliens, but the first and second pos-sibilities are both not good to them. Hence, the article suggests that people should not continue to contact aliens.
The fourth article I wrote is a piece of news, which indicates that United Nations has named Mazlan Othman as the ambassador of outer space affairs. Her job is learning how to communicate with aliens by listening the intercepted radio waves. Human beings have not known anything about the species on that distant planet; therefore, she is crucial to the first con-tact of extraterrestrial life. Othman will represent Earth to show our benevolence to aliens, trying to build a good relationship between human beings and aliens. The last story is written in Chi-nese, because I consider the issue is worldwide. The article mainly talks about how scientists discover the existence of aliens.
Every one of our group uses the imagination and the knowledge learned in the lecture to write stories, documents, and headlines for the newspaper clippings. These newspaper clippings can well reflect the world's reaction towards the discovery of aliens and show readers what our future world will be like. Our articles are from different perspectives, so they make our scientific project more realistic. We all contribute to this project a lot and try to let viewers learn our idea better and clearer. I enjoy working with Alec and Ashley and I am proud of this project.